Friday, January 23, 2015

Weekend Preview: January 23rd - 25th, 2015

Snap! Orlando turns one this weekend. 
Weekend Events

The annual ZORA! Festival kicks off this Saturday and runs through next week with different events every day, including lectures, concerts, exhibits, and more. 

Friday, January 23rd

Can you believe it's only been a year?! Mills50 cornerstone Snap! Space Celebrates One Year this Friday starting at 7:00pm. The celebration includes the unveiling of the new public art fence, an art mobile, beauty treats, a DJ, cocktails and coffee, a food truck, and the lighting of the revived 1940 CAMEO Theater sign.

Other People's Property is hosting its first Swap & Shop of 2015 this Friday from 5:30 to 8:00pm. The event is $20 and includes the clothing swap and goodies from Yelp, Credo, Be.Creative, as well as mini-massages and sweets.

Don't miss the Orlando Solar Bears vs. Greenville Road Warriors this Friday at 7:30pm at the Amway Center. Tickets start at $18.55 (including fees).

Orlando Rocks! is the House of Blues' local artist showcase, featuring four Orlando bands. Doors open at 7:30pm this Friday and tickets are $8. 

Saturday, January 24th

From 10:00am to 3:00pm this Saturday, the area outside Maxine's on Shine is transformed into a European market street with Finds on Shine Parisian Market, including antiques, jewelry, and crafts.

Come out and listen to Orlando's talented young writers at the Antiheroes Book Release Party, happening this Saturday at 5:00pm at the Brookhaven Warehouse. This is the third short-story anthology released in partnership with Page15.

After Antiheroes, stop by another literary event: Boris Fishman Reading with John King, happening at 7:00pm at the Gallery at Avalon Island. Fishman will read from his debut novel, A Replacement Life. He is joined by The Drunken Odyssey's John King, who will read select poems.

It's that time again: Monster Jam is back at the Florida Citrus Bowl. (Boy, I hope they don't wreck the new stadium...) The destruction starts this Saturday at 5:00pm; tickets start at $15.

Get back on the New-Years-resolution-band-wagon with Hot Pants Hip Hop Fusion, this Saturday at 5:00pm. This is your chance to take a Jazzercise class for free, just RSVP!

Starting at 8:00pm, Lil Indies hosts Orlando Music History Merch Swap, where you can get some of yesteryear's coolest band shirts, buttons, CD, cassettes (what are those?), and other nostalgic items. 

Sunday, January 25th

This Sunday the downtown library hosts Music in the Library: Blakemore Piano Studio, a free live performance of classical pieces. The event starts at 2:30pm.

Sunday is the last day to see the 7th Annual Orlando Home and Garden Show at the Orange County Convention Center. Come out and see TV and radio personalities, buy flowers, train your dog, check out the latest home trends, and more. Tickets are $9 for adults, $6 for seniors, and free for those under 16. 

What are you doing this weekend? Leave a comment below!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Weekend Preview: January 16th - 18th, 2015

Photo by Otronicon
Weekend Events

From Friday through Monday, Otronicon takes over the Orlando Science Center. For the tenth year in a row, this four-day event brings video games, medical and military simulations, panels, workshops ,and art to Orlando. General tickets are $19, $17 for students/seniors, and $13 for kids under 11. 

Friday through Sunday, Renninger's Antiques and Collectors Extravaganza is coming to Mount Dora. Parking is free and entrance is $10 on Friday, $6 on Saturday, and $4 on Sunday (or $15 for all three days) to see over 800 vendors. 

Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The weekend of celebrations and remembrances includes Saturday's MLK Day Parade in downtown Orlando at 10:00am.

This Saturday and Sunday, guitar geeks nerd out at the Orlando International Guitar and Music Expo at the Central Florida Fairgrounds. Admission is $12 and includes tons of vendors, shows, and giveaways. 

Friday, January 16th

Of Montreal is coming to The Social this Friday. Tickets are $20 and drink specials include $5 beer-and-shot combos.

Oh, and see Weekend Events above for Otronicon, Renninger's, and the Guitar and Music Expo. 

Saturday, January 17th

The 69th Annual Camellia Festival is happening this Saturday at Mead Gardens. Take a tour of the blooming gardens, visit food vendors, and learn about flowers. 

Get into the Winter spirit this Saturday and cheer on our local ice hockey team at the Orlando Solar Bears vs. Tulsa Oilers game at the Amway Center. Tickets start at $18.55 (including fees).  

Orlando Brewing presents Original Live Music: Reverist this Saturday at 9:00pm. 

Who doesn't love a doll-themed art show? Doll Parts opens at The Falcon this Saturday with over 20 artists and their creepy beautiful art.

Sunday, January 18th

Boomin' Brunch is happening in the Milk District this Sunday with food trucks, DJs, beer, and a $15 bottomless mimosa bar. 

Southern Fried Sunday turns nine! Come out to SFS 9 Year Anniversary, featuring Riverbottom Nightmare Band, The Honeyslides, The Appleseed Collective, Prison Wine, Daniel Hanson, Crenshaw, Jessy Lynn Martens, Jackson, and Forest Rodgers and Daniel Taylor. $9 gets you into the show (including BBQ dinner!) with doors at 5:30pm. 

What are you doing in Orlando this weekend? Leave a comment below!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Shut Up and Listen: Six Ways to Get to Know Orlando

Creative Mornings Orlando at Purple Rock Scissors

Question: I want to learn about my community and meet cool people. How do I do that? Answer: Go to one of these presentation-based events to mix, mingle, and learn. But, as we constantly find out for ourselves, tickets for some of these events sell out fast. Read on to find out which events to attend and the best way to make sure you save yourself a spot.

1. Nerd Nite
Nerds and non-nerds in over 75 cities worldwide attend the monthly Nerd Nite to hear presentations on entertaining, though-provoking topics by experts in their fields. Orlando's edition is hosted by Josh Manning (read our interview here) and takes place at Stardust Video & Coffee in Audubon Park. It's a great way to learn about interesting topics and to meet, well, nerds. 

Get Tickets: This event is free, but be sure to get there about 45 minutes early if you want a good seat. Follow Nerd Nite on Facebook and Twitter to be the first to know when the next event is posted.

Next Event: Nerd Nite Orlando XXIV on February 12th.

2. PechaKucha
PechaKucha (don't ask me how to pronounce it, I've been told it's wrong) is a quarterly presentation series that follows a dynamic formula: presenters show 20 images for 20 seconds each. Meanwhile, they talk about their experiences covering virtually every topic imaginable. 

Get Tickets: Keep a close eye on PechaKucha's Facebook page and jump on those tickets as soon as they're announced (about $11) because they sell out weeks before the event.

Next Event: Tickets for the February 6th event are still available! 

3. Orlando SOUP
Orlando SOUP, modeled after Detroit SOUP, is a quarterly event that allows four people who are passionate about their city to present a four-minute pitch for a community improving idea, after which they answer four questions from the audience. During the presentations, attendees get locally-sourced soup, bread, and salad. Then they vote on their favorite project, whose presenter then gets the night's proceeds and has to come back next time with a progress report.

Get Tickets: This event sells out within a day or two of when tickets ($10) are announced, so follow Orlando SOUP's Facebook page, Twitter, the Yelp Orlando calendar, and East End Market's calendar for announcements.

Next Event: The January 20 event is sold out, but the next SOUP is tentatively planned for April 14th.

4. Creative Mornings
A "breakfast lecture series for the creative community," Creative Mornings is a way to get to know awesome people doing awesome projects. (Oh, and it's always hosted in great locations around town.) Get to know some movers and shakers in Orlando, from tech start-ups to printmakers to circus performers.

Get Tickets: This is a free event, but sign-up is required and fills up quickly. Check out their Facebook and Twitter accounts for updates on how to register. Tip: make a profile early to make registration easier!

Next Event: TBD

5. ReThinking the City
Like its cousin, the 91.5 WPRK radio show, Rethinking the City is a forum to discuss all things urban. Come out and see what local and national folks are doing to make their cities better places to live through planning, urban agriculture, art, activism, and research. 

Get Tickets: This is a free monthly event, so just show up! Follow RtC on Facebook to stay in touch.

Next Event: Transit Engagement by the Pint on January 27th. 

6. Functionally Literate 
Functionally Literate is just one of a growing number of reading series in Orlando. But it's a good one, let me tell you. The quarterly series brings an array of fresh local, national, and international (!) authors to Orlando. (Oh, and you can also listen in to Functionally Literate Radio on 91.5 every Thursday at 9:00am.)

Get Tickets: The readings are free, so check out the FL's Facebook page for the next event.

Next Event: The next event features Ellen Datlow, Pat Rushin, and Teege Braune on March 21st.

We know we're probably missing a few events, so leave a comment to let us know your favorite presentation series! 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Weekend Preview: January 8th - 11th, 2015

"Hey, is there any live music this weekend?" "Yes," replied the city. "Yes, there is." 

Weekend Events

"Are you going to the
Central Florida Collectibles Show?"
"Yeah, maybe."

This weekend is sure to divide a lot of households: Will you go to the 50th Florida Rail Fair or the Orlando Paper and Postcard International Expo? Luckily, you can check out the trains this Saturday and Sunday, while the postcards will be around this Friday and Saturday. (Oh, and while you're in DeLand, don't miss the Central Florida Collectibles Show on Sunday.)

Thursday, January 8th

Nanotechnology, hoarding, and cosmetology? Yes, please! Nerd Nite Orlando XXIII takes place this Thursday at 7:00pm at Stardust. (Get there early for a good seat!) 

Come out for It's Gonna Blow!!!, a screening of the documentary about San Diego's underground music scene. It's $5 and happening this Thursday at Will's Pub; 8:00pm. 

$10 for a wine scavenger hunt an art walk is a pretty good deal. It's happening at the 2nd Thursday Thornton Park Wine & Art Walk, starting at 6:30pm and featuring 25 vendors. 

Everyone's favorite men's general store is hosting An Evening of Magic this Thursday at 6:30pm. Come for the professional magicians and stay for the drinks and hors d'oeuvres; tickets are $20, RSVP on the Facebook page.

Friday, January 9th

It's here! Orlando Bike Share officially launches this Friday, so stop by the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at 2:00pm to experience what will be just the beginning of an awesome new transportation option in our city. 

Start your weekend off right. And yes, we mean with public transportation. The January Conductor Crawl is happening this Friday at 6:00pm with stops at Church Street and Winter Park. 

Chill out at The Imperial this Friday night with drinks and sweet acoustic tunes from Lauris Vidal. The furniture-store-by-day-bar-by-night is a must-see spot that requires a lot of hyphens to describe and usually has a food truck out front so you can have drinks, dinners, and music all in one place! 

Saturday, January 10th

The Nashville South Lo-Fi Music Showcase is a singer/songwriter showcase, now in its third year. See all five acts this Saturday at The Social. Tickets are $8; 21+. 

Check out more local music at the Second Saturday Sanford, starting at 7:00pm with a main stage and an acoustic stage in Downtown Sanford.

Sunday, January 11th

If you're like us and clinging onto your new year's resolutions for dear life, then take a trip to the Orlando Farmers Market this Sunday (10:00am to 4:00pm). Bring your yoga stuff, because it's going down at Yoga in Lake Eola Park (11:00am, either at the amphitheater or across from Panera). Edit: No yoga this Sunday, check back next week!

What are you up to this weekend? Leave a comment and remember to tag #orlandodoesntsuck on Instagram!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Weekend Preview: December 19th - 21st, 2014

If you're anything like us, you're spending the beginning of your holiday vacation fighting over the last stocking stuffer scarf on the sale rack. Well we are here to remind you to also take a break and enjoy the events going on around town. Oh, and shop local!

Friday, December 19th

Oops, wrong movie.

You know that tough week you've had before the holiday break? Well tonight you can LET IT GOOOOOOOOOOO, LET IT GOOOOOOOOOOOOO! by heading over to Avalon Park before 7pm for their Movie Under the Stars featuring Frozen. It's free but be sure to bring a blanket and bundle up. Bonus points if you sing along off-key.

Everyone enjoyed Santacon, but did you feel like it was missing a little nerd flavor? Fear not, Florida Anime Experience brings you Cosplay Christmas- a party where you can dress up as your favorite character with a holiday twist and enjoy live performances, tasty treats, and some video games and a movie! Free, 7pm.

Saturday, December 20th

Throw away your razors, the Orlando Facial Hair Club is having their Holiday Party at Oblivion Taproom at 8pm, free. If attractive men with beards isn't your thing (hahaha, kidding- it's everyone's thing.), Oblivion is also having their Holiday Cheer and Beer Bash with an impressive beer list! Starts at 4pm.

Can't think of what to get your Secret Santa? Or do you have a cousin that has everything they need? Get creative with your shopping and join Tittie-Thyme's 3rd Zine Release and Hobby Fair Holiday Boogie at St. Matthews Tavern. Tons of quirky gifts and you can drink which you shop, which is honestly everyone's goal this season, right? 8pm, free.

Sunday, December 21st

Want some intelligent conversation with your brunch? Well join the first meeting of Feminism for Everyone where anyone can come with an open mind to have a great discussion about feminist issues. 11:30am, Stardust Video and Coffee.

Since a lot of you don't have work Monday, why not check out Southern Fried Sunday for the Holidays at Will's Pub? Hangovers be damned! With a great line-up and only $8 to get in, you'll want to take a few shots of espresso beforehand so you can party from 5:30pm until the wee hours of the night!


Written by Tairi Danger PĂ©rez

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Weekend Preview: December 12th - 14th, 2014

Photo by Daniel Dorsa
Weekend Events

Get your last-minute shopping on at the Big Bang Bazaar, happening this Saturday (11am-6pm) and Sunday (11am-5pm) in Maitland. Admission to tons of indie craft vendors is $5, free under 12.

Friday, December 12th

♫♪ On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to meee...♫♪ ...alcohol poisoning. Because I went to TWELVE bars at The 12 Bars of Christmas Pub Crawl. It starts at 7:30pm at Wall Street Plaza; tickets are $20 or equivalent value unwrapped gift. 

If you prefer to mix your drinks with public transportation, check out the December Conductor Crawl, which meets at 6:00pm at Ceviche and heads south to Orlando Brewing on the 6:51 train. Train rides are $3.75; drink specials along the way. 

Casselberry's Tree Lighting Ceremony is going on this Friday from 5:00 to 9:00pm, with artisan booths, The Food Truck Bazaar, live entertainment, a showing of Arthur Christmas (7:00pm), and Santa photo ops. 

Saturday, December 13th

The downtown library is hosting a book signing and discussion of The Great Florida Craft Beer Guide this Saturday at 11:00am. (You may have seen the book in our Local Gift Ideas post earlier this week...)

The 10th Annual Winter Park Boat Parade and Festival of Lights and *takes breath* Ski Show is happening this Saturday starting at 3:30pm. The viewing takes place at the Polasek Museum, where you might also run into Santa.

Bikes, Beans & Bordeaux is putting on its 7th Annual Holiday Lights Ride. So what are you waiting for? Light up your bike, grab a helmet, and meet the gang at 6:30pm.

Up in Sanford, Second Saturdays is your chance to catch two stages worth of live music paired with food, drinks, and fun. The event starts at 7:00pm; tickets are $5.

At 7:00pm, the Milk District invites you to the open-air Sweater Fest 2014 with 17 live acts and lots of ugly sweaters; $5. 

Sunday, December 14th

As if the Big Bang Bazaar wasn't enough, Grandma Party Bazaar is back at Stardust Video & Coffee! Check out the vendors, live music, and other activities this Sunday from 10:00am to 6:00pm. 

Last month you drooled over the Performing Arts Center, this weekend come visit the newly renovated Citrus Bowl at the Citrus Bowl Community Open House. It's a free event with  self-guided tours, snacks, and activities, but tickets are required; starts at noon.

What are you up to this weekend? Leave a comment below!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Local Orlando Gift Ideas, Part 1

It's that time again. They might call it "gift giving season," but it usually feels more like "frantically looking for cool stuff to buy that's not too expensive season." Well, that's where this post comes in. In the first part of our Local Orlando Gift Ideas series, we explored East End Market and stopped by Cloak & Dapper. Hopefully, these gift ideas (mostly under $20) will wow that special someone or blow your next Secret Santa out of the water. {Photos by Tina Craig}
There are two hidden gems tucked away upstairs at East End Market. The first is Bookmark It, a tiny store whose carefully curated collection could keep you browsing for hours. (There's a section of books that pair perfectly with the stores downstairs, which was the inspiration for this post.) A few steps away is Whisk and Bowl - A Baker's Market. With a focus on beautifully designed, heirloom-quality kitchen items and trinkets, even non-bakers will enjoy taking a look.
Gifts from East End Market, Orlando

In Florida, barbecue season is always just around the corner. Grab some special ingredients from Houndstooth Sauce Company (East End Market) for your special someone. (But really, what you do with that sauce mop and a jar of red or white is up to you.) For the horn-rimmed glasses wearing bookworm in your life, grab a good non-fiction book and a bag of Lineage coffee (also at East End Market), like the delicious Ethiopia Yirgacheffe.

Florida beer is on the up and up, and we all know someone who is overly obsessed with loves craft brews. Grab a book, like The Great Florida Craft Beer Guide, and pair it with a bottle of Cigar City Brewing from Local Roots (East End Market).

Porch Therapy (East End Market) carries a huge selection of beautiful succulents, fresh flowers, and unique decorations that make perfect gifts. (If you know someone with a self-proclaimed "brown thumb," you may want to stick to the air plants...)

Cheese. If this word stirs all kinds of feelings inside you, this may be the gift for you. La Femme du Fromage (East End Market) carries a great selection and will walk you through what you need to know to pick the perfect fromage. Deepen your knowledge with an in-depth book (or maybe just a good bottle of wine).

Cloak & Dapper - A Gentleman's General Store just opened its very first physical location in a beautiful space across from Lake Ivanhoe. There, you'll find everything from clothes and accessories to personal care products and drinking supplies for your guy with fancy tastes.

For the person who has everything, sometimes you just need to buy some sweets. Fatto in Casa (East End Market) has you covered with stunning cakes and small batches of homemade goodies.

Now it's your turn: What are some of your favorite local gift ideas, and what store would you love to see photographed? Leave a comment below and stay tuned for Part 2!

Tina Craig is an Orlando photographer. When she's not shooting rock'n'roll memorabilia at Hard Rock International, she dazzles our readers with photo essays and event pix.